Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and located at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, the IRIS Center develops and disseminates free, engaging online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities. These resources, designed to bridge the research-to-practice gap, are intended for use in teacher preparation programs and in professional development (PD) and personalized learning activities for practicing professionals. The library of IRIS resources includes interactive modules, case studies, information briefs, Fundamental Skill Sheets, course/PD activities, a high-leverage practices alignment tool, and an online glossary of disability-related terms, and many more.
This self-paced module, developed in collaboration with the TIES Center, describes the benefits of including students with significant cognitive disabilities in general education classrooms. It also offers information on how teachers can plan for and teach these students in inclusive classrooms (est. completion time: 2 hours).
This interactive module details the process of developing high-quality individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities. The module discusses the requirements for IEPs as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with implications of the Supreme Court's ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (est. completion time: 3 hours).
This interactive module overviews instructional and testing accommodations for students with disabilities, explains how accommodations differ from other kinds of instructional adaptations, defines the four categories of accommodations, and describes how to implement accommodations and evaluate their effectiveness for individual students (est. completion time: 2 hours).
This interactive module addresses the importance of engaging the families of students with disabilities in their child’s education. It highlights some of the key factors that affect these families and outlines some practical ways to build relationships and create opportunities for involvement (est. completion time: 1 hour).
This self-paced module overviews the effects of disruptive behaviors as well as important key concepts and foundational practices related to effective classroom behavior management, including cultural influences on behavior, the creation of positive climates and structured classrooms, and much more (est. completion time: 2 hours).
Developed specifically with primary and intermediate elementary teachers in mind (but see below for secondary teachers!), this interactive module reviews the major components of a classroom behavior management plan (including rules, procedures, and consequences) and guides users through the steps of creating their own classroom behavior management plan (est. completion time: 2 hours).
A secondary version is also available for middle- and high-school classrooms: https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/beh2_sec/
This interactive module—the first in a two-part series—discusses challenging behavior in terms of the phases of the acting-out cycle and offers strategies and tips for responding to students in each phase (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).
A secondary version is also available for middle- and high-school classrooms: https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/bi1-sec/
The second in a two-part series, this interactive module describes six low-intensity strategies that teachers can implement to prevent or address challenging behaviors. The six strategies include: behavior-specific praise, pre-correction, active supervision, high-probability requests, opportunities to respond, and choice making. The differential reinforcement strategy is also explained (est. completion time: 2 hours).
A secondary version is also available for middle- and high-school classrooms: https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/bi2-sec/
This interactive module examines the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and discusses how to apply them to support learner engagement, agency, and success for all students (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).
Practical, flexible, and built around trustworthy resources, IRIS PD Certificates for Educators are a terrific option for educators who are ready to take their professional development to the next level, including:
- K–12 general and special education teachers
- Substitute teachers
- Other school support staff (e.g., bus drivers, hallway/cafeteria/playground monitors)
Self-guided and self-paced, IRIS Modules cover numerous relevant topics in a way that is in-depth but approachable. These online resources can be used to improve educator’s knowledge of:
- Evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices
- Teaching English language learners
- Instructional supports for students with disabilities
For more than 20 years, the IRIS Center has created reliable free online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices. Watch this brief video to learn more about us, our history and mission, and everything we have to offer!
Watch this video to learn about free online modules from the IRIS Center that cover not only foundations of effective classroom behavior management but also guide users at both the elementary and secondary levels through the step-by-step process of developing and implementing their own classroom behavior classroom plans.
Watch this video to learn about our self-paced module that addresses the importance of engaging the families of students with disabilities in their child’s education, highlights some of the key factors that affect these families, and outlines some practical ways to build relationships and create opportunities for involvement.
Want to learn more about our professional development options? This brief video offers some tips and pointers for exploring our Website's dedicated PD Hours section.
Information provided in the online directory on this website is intended to provide a guide to businesses, organizations, and resources that support the special education community. The Council for Exceptional Children or any of its employees neither endorse, warrant, nor guarantee the products or services advertised in the directory. The information provided in each listing on this website is published as obtained from external sources that provide the information.